Glasgow: Robert & Andrew Foulis, Printers to the University, 1768. First Scottish Edition. The 1st Scottish edition, published the same as the first London published by Dodsley. The volume includes Gray's 'Elegy', one of the best known English poems, and the Epitaph. The Elegy was inspired in part by Gray's response to the death of the poet Richard West in 1742; Horace Walpole recognized its merits and circulated it in London. It had a far reaching impact on the Romantic poets including Wordsworth, Coleridge and Keats. The 'Elegy' also includes many often cited lines: "The Curfew tolls the knell of parting day"; "Full many a flower is born to blush unseen"; and "Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife".
An engraved portrait of the poet is loosely inserted.
Gray (1716-71) English poet, "He excelled his contemporaries in meticulous workmanship and in ability to use new materials--medieval Welsh or Scandinavian--with dramatic imaginative power..." Baugh. "His enthusiasm had been roused by the fragments of Gaelic poetry published by Macpherson in 1760. He did his best to believe in their authenticity and found himself in rather uncongenial alliance with Hume, whose skepticism was for once quenched by his patriotism. Gray's interest probably led him to his imitations from the Norse and Welsh. In 1767 Dodsley proposed to republish his poems in a cheap form. Foulis, a Glasgow publisher, made a similar proposal through Beattie at the same time. Dodsley's edition appeared in July 1768, and Foulis's in the following September. Both contained the same poems, including the Fatal Sisters, the Descent of Odin, and the Triumphs of Owen, then first published. Gray took no money, but accepted a present of books from Foulis." DNB.
Large 4to, (6) 64pp, uncut, printed on laid paper. Bookplate of James Milliken Esq. of Milliken. Some margins slt. dusty. Later rebind in a plain black full calf with "Poems by Mr. Gray" in a gilt ruled box on the front board. Faint early pencil sketch of a standing woman in long flowing gown, on the back free end paper. The 1768 edition not recorded in OCLC, internet resource only. Item #8018